Recycled Glass Beaches

Using Recycled Glass To Replenish Our Beaches

   Along many of the world's coasts, critically eroded beaches pose a myriad of social and environmental challenges, prompting an effort to explore alternatives to more traditional sand sources. One alternative involves the use of recycled glass cullet as coastal beach fill in erosional shoreline 'hot-spots.' Through the research of CERF, studies have showed that recycled glass cullet possesses the same physical and chemical characteristics as native quartz beach sand found on many beaches worldwide.

   Crabs, mollusks, urchins, and other marine life (see below photos) were introduced to each bioassay and analyzed through scientific observations. After a prolonged exposure to recycled glass cullet matrices, it was determined that an artificial cullet substrate does not adversely affect macrofauna habitation or microfauna colonization. This study demonstrated that recycled glass cullet is a biologically safe alternative when used in marine applications.

   In addition to performing groundbreaking research, CERF has contributed to the scientific community by taking part in innovative displays and exhibits at some of the world's most famous museums. Recently, our research with recycled glass cullet was featured at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois, USA ( By taking part in the Museum's exhibit entitled, The Glass Experience (see below photos), we were able to bring our research to a center stage in order to educate the public.


For more information in regard to recycled glass beach studies, please click the links below to the following articles published in the Journal of Coastal Research (JCR):


Makowski, C. and Rusenko, K., 2007. Recycled glass cullet as an alternative beach fill material: Results of biological and chemical analyses. Journal of Coastal Research, 23(3), 545-552.  


Makowski, C.; Rusenko, K., and Kruempel, C.J., 2008. Abiotic suitability of recycled glass cullet as an alternative sea turtle nesting substrate. Journal of Coastal Research, 24(3), 771-779.


Makowski, C.; Finkl, C.W., and Rusenko, K., 2013. Suitability of recycled glass cullet as artificial dune fill along coastal environments. Journal of Coastal Research, 29(4), 772-782.


To learn more about CERF's research involving recycled glass beaches,

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